All too often we hear about small business owners, freelancers & non tech-savvy people signing up to those ‘free’ website builders, such as the ones that rhyme with ‘SIX’ or ‘none-and-none’. The reasons behind choosing these products over a dedicated web design agency is pretty obvious: They’re super quick to set up (you can have your website up and running in 1 hour) and they’re seemingly cheap compared to a bespoke website. That’s all well and good, but are you really getting a bargain for your money? Or do you get what you pay for? Here are just a handful of reasons why you should stay away from cheap, DIY website builders:
1. Google doesn’t like them
One of the most important aspects of your website is for customers to find you on search engines such as Google. Search engines will regularly ‘crawl’ your website and rank it accordingly, dependent on a large number of different factors such as content, usability and website quality. When you choose a template on a DIY website, you’re effectively choosing the same website that tens of thousands of people have already chosen and are currently using, which is considered as duplicate content and will affect your ranking. In addition, the majority of those ‘SIX’ websites still use Flash, which is outdated. Put it this way, have you ever searched for something in google and found a DIY website at the top? Or even page 1?
2. The free templates don’t look great
I’ve had a good look at what’s on offer from the DIY website builders, and the template designs are pretty poor. Sure, some of them look okay, but the majority are very basic, with a lack of functionality.
3. They’re not as cheap as they seem
Let’s take our trusty example that rhymes with ‘SIX’… Ignoring their most basic plan which is worthless, you’re looking at a cost of from just under £62 per year. This one is described as ‘for personal use’, which should be taken literally. It comes with a lowly 3GB of storage and 2GB of bandwidth. To explain the bandwidth, the average web page is now more than 2MB. Say a typical visitor to your website views 5 of your pages, that’s 10MB. Your website would crash within a month if you received just 7 visitors a day.
4. Don’t expect great customer service
If your website does go down, or you need help with something, you’ll have to speak to their customer service. One of the worst experiences of everyone’s lives is having to call up those large call centres with the hope of eventually getting through to someone who can help you. Personally, I’d stick to local companies who can help you in an instant. And no call centres.
Don’t expect much when it comes to customising your website exactly the way you want it. DIY website templates are built cheaply and in large quantities in order to make it seem like there is a huge amount of choice on offer. In reality, you’ll get stuck with a website that you can’t take further due to a lack of customisation.
6. They’re not mobile-friendly
Most of the templates are not mobile-friendly, and if they are, they’re horribly coded and search engines will pick up on it. Over 50% of internet users now search using their mobile phones as their primary device, which means being mobile responsive is a necessity. Don’t leave it to a free template or you’ll have very bad results.
7. Search engine optimisation
Even with all of the SEO experience in the world, your DIY website will unfortunately not make it to the top of Google. This is due to a lack of SEO options for those templates, which will negatively impact your business. Your website is there to be found and to turn visitors into customers, which won’t be possible with a DIY website.
8. Slow loading times
One of the most important factors for your website is how fast it loads. Just a few tenths of a second can made the difference between a sale and a lost customer. We regularly hear about people who have purchased a DIY website but are unhappy with the speed of their website.
9. They will limit your potential
Sure, you can get a site up and running quickly with these options, but in almost all cases you’ll realise that you need something extra which is simply unachievable from a DIY website builder. All of a sudden, you’ll need to pay extra for these tweaks. You’ll also be tied down to their rules and restraints, with no other option but to pay them or lose your website entirely.
So what’s your point? Do business with Heart IT instead of them?
To an extent, yes, we would love to do business with you. Companies such as Heart IT can offer you so much more, and give you the flexibility and SEO knowledge to really make something out of your website, something which online web builders can’t do.
If you want your business to truly succeed, it is worth investing that little bit more into your online presence to allow you to get a real return on investment. Your website will also be future-proof, 100% responsive across hundreds of devices, and will have the potential to be at the top of Google for your desired search terms.